It is time to begin your new journey to a new you in many areas of life as we start the first of 30-baby steps to living a Be Intentional life!
Remember that we are going to be covering 5 key areas and offer baby steps in challenge form in each of these 5 areas:
You know the old adage: if you can’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else. From being a diligent employee at work, a mom at home, a husband and father or wife and mother…. if you are tired, at a loss for energy, burning the candle at both ends, you cannot do anything very well. I know that there are three things that affect me being a wife to my husband and a mother to my kids is a lack of consistent sleep, lack of hydration and no shower. If any of those things happen, I might as well throw the day away.
Alex is the same way in his contracting work, his part of the homeschooling or other work and projects that he is doing. When he doesn’t get consistent sleep, he has a total lack of concentration, effectiveness, patience, and efficiency. It doesn’t matter if everything else is in order! If he does not take care of himself, he cannot function well.
That is what we want to encourage our readers to do as the first few baby steps! YOU….. it’s all about YOU the next few days!
So, it is time for the first challenge of 30 to get you on the right track by taking baby steps to increase your energy, efficiency and organization which will propel you into a life that is able to develop an overall financially smart, happy and frugal home.
Baby Step #1
Set a bedtime that is the same each day of the week and be strict about sticking to it!
Only allow rare exceptions/events/emergencies to interrupt your bedtime.
So you may be saying to yourself, “we do have a bedtime – this will be an easy challenge!”
Well, we too thought we had a real bedtime for many years. But in the end it was a “let’s get to bed by approximately this time.” But we would often be way off with the time and allow excuses like housework, projects, getting kids to bed on time, unwinding with a bit of t.v. and many other things to trump the need to stick to a normal bed time.
Now we are not saying you can’t do any of those things, but adjust your daytime priorities, desires and events to accommodate a consistent and realistic bed time schedule.
Then what we ultimately experienced was a body that is functioning at a much lower capacity than it could, difficulties getting to sleep as our bodies were confused, and just a tired sluggish feeling all day. Sleep is one of the most vital needs to living life – why not make it as good as it could be?
Besides, medical experts across the board agree that going to bed at the same time every night, including weekends, is vitally important to avoid many health issues and overall good health. You can see information from doctors everywhere on this topic, but we will also direct you to Dr. Mercola and this article he wrote about bedtime.
So, by setting and sticking to a bed time, you will not only gain more energy naturally, a more lively functioning mind and body for efficiency during the day, but you are improving your general health at the same time.
Don’t take this challenge lightly, take it seriously so that you can enjoy and reap the results of consistency in a few weeks!
In addition, like we mentioned before, the challenges that we are going to be presenting this month build on each other. A normal bedtime is needed for the rest of the challenges.
We started going to bed at a normal/regular time in 2012 and our lives changed so much from this one little baby step. Our bodies now crave that consistent bed time and we feel amazing when we stick with it. Each time that we “fall off the consistent bed time bandwagon” all of us had a struggle the following day(s).
This is also a very, very vital challenge for kids. Kids grow and develop well from a good healthy sleeping pattern. Our own kids have horrible days the next day after not sticking to our normal bedtime.
So with Baby Step #1, you may have it in the sack already, but here’s a few things that has helped us get to bed on time:
- We stop drinking any and all caffeinated beverages by 3pm. We are big coffee drinkers. But if we have any caffeine too late, it interrupts our ability to get to sleep!
- We stop watching TV around 1-hour before we go to bed. We may be like you and have a few shows each week that we like to watch. But instead of relying on the television schedules, we actually own a Roku and have access to Hulu on this device. We have talked about the Roku before and how it saves us loads of money and eliminates the need for cable, but then you also decide your TV schedule.
- We don’t use electronics in bed, like tablets, smart phones, etc. They are over-stimulating and they keep us from getting to sleep. This is an ever-growing problem in our day and age and it has been proven that these bad bedtime habits will affect overall long term health.
- Have a routine (we will be talking more about this as the challenges go on too).
- Both Alex and I need time to “unwind.” Neither of us are able to jump in bed and fall asleep right away. With that, we actually get in bed 30 minutes before “lights out” to unwind. We typically read, do crossword puzzles (from a book, not electronic :)) or sudoku, etc.
- We keep the temperature low at night. We keep ours around 65 – 68 degrees. It is proven over and over that a cooler room helps you sleep better. Plus…it saves you on your heating bill!
- Wear socks. Since we are lowering the temperature, our feet are vulnerable to get cold and keep us awake, so we keep them covered.
- Make it as dark as possible. When we were committed to following a normal bedtime, I bought darkening shades (they happened to be on clearance at Walmart last winter, so they may this year too) as this helps to darken the room even more.
- We invested in comfortable bedding and pillows. This is one area where spending money is wise. Your sleep is vital to your living, invest in what you need to make it comfortable. You can make up the cost of it with more daily efficiency 🙂
- We sometimes use natural supplements or teas. Sometimes we will drink hot sleepytime tea or use lavender essential oils to help us get to sleep if we are struggling. Also supplements like Melatonin and 5-HTP can help naturally aid in better sleep (be sure to check with your doctor before you take anything).
- We pray. We will pray out loud together and then we pray silently after lights are out. This is a very calming, relaxing and peaceful way to fall asleep and giving your cares and worries to the Almighty!
One final important thought with bedtime: we go to bed together. If you are married, this is a very HIGH recommendation! Husbands and wives should not got to bed at separate times. It is a time that just the two of you can talk about your hopes and dreams or at least the days’ ups and downs to encourage, pray, cuddle and continue to develop a strong relationship and focused time of communication. Don’t let gaming, TV, computer time or any other factor take those precious moments before you close your eyes away from your relationship with your spouse.
What is your bedtime?
Our bedtime for 2015 is 10:00! We’ve had many things in our lives change and so we need an early bedtime for a long night of sleep with an early wake-up!
So we thought the picture above about “sleeping like a husband” was most appropriate too! It is very important for men to be in a strict sleeping schedule too, but it is also a popularly known fact that once they are out…. they are out! Us women need that strict bedtime to get as good of sleep as we can, we do wake easily and sometimes often!
Don’t forget to join us at our Be Intentional with The Thrifty Couple Facebook Group HERE. We highly encourage you to ask to join so that we can communicate and encourage everyone. It is intended to be a small and intimate group as we develop relationships with our readers, talk back and forth and ask questions! We are excited about this new avenue and hope you will find it encouraging too!